In the end I think Avid got it pretty right for my use case with the S3.
Despite the fact that the Nuage and S6 really look nice and expensive, I could not imagine going back to a desk where there is no keyboard and mouse. Both the S6 and Nuage use up too much space and would move either the console or mouse/keys too far off axis for my room size. Since a DAW is esentially still a computer software there will always be a lot of situations where these are the preferred human computer interaction methods for me.
Not for panning and volume rides for sure, but on the ProQ plugin I really think I prefer the mouse, for shortcuts the keyboard is unbeatable if you are a Ninja like we all tend to be.
So with a tight integration (in PT the iPad always shows the selected channel
and you can hide/unhide channels, split (working) VCAs or show the active parameter lane with the click of a button) I am pretty close to my personal DAW control heaven.
I think the next step for me would be a programmable keyboard (like the Elgato XXL but larger and with more buttons) Do I hear you say Fairlight? I think that their concept is pretty amazing.
But tbh, for me this is then pretty much as complex as I want things to be, I think my sessinos are just not big enough to want more faders or deeper integration.
So, if you are on Nuendo and want to stay with it I guess you must either accept that the basic route (just faders and pans) or buying a Nuage are more or less the only resonable options at the moment. As Fredo stated Steinberg is unlikely to invest many resources into fixing EuCon or developing a mini Nuage. It's a shame, since this has been request for many years now and there is clearly a demand by some, but Steinberg seem to be slightly trapped between a rock and a hard place with (many) Cubase users shouting for more and more bells and whistles and (at least some) Nuendo users wanting implementations that are geared more towards the pro end of the market, where reliability and quality of functions matter more than a gazillion of new plugins. In PT land you see the opposite, where "vanilla" users are unhappy with the lack of new functions and pros getting slow but steady improvenent and some deeply integrated stuff for the ultimate market only.
If I was in Steinbergs Pro Audio product management I would ask myself if I could take the risk to invest into fixing my side of EuCon, at least to a point where it does not crash my app anymore. I don't quite get why a mistake on the AVID side should crash my code. It could just not work, but a crash? How much work can it be to analyze and catch a bug that is reported by many users and where a 100% repro method exists? (at least that was the case with the ipad app and Nuendo when I left the platform).
While we are investigating all things automation here, has the initial parameter / VCA / Automation problem finally been solved?